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Passing the Holiday Torch…

I have often felt inadequate compared to the women who have come before me. They seem so skilled at bringing home the fish, scaling it, frying it, while remaining clean smelling, fresh faced, and always having arms free to hug the children whirling about.

In particular, my grandmother was an amazing cook. She was the kind of cook that other people would ask to make cakes, sweet potato pies and macaroni and cheese for their family gatherings. She managed to cook an amazing meal for us that would stuff us on that day and for days to come. She even managed to have enough for random people to come to “get their plate”. She also had enough for all of the student ministers who often shared their holidays with us because they were unable to travel to be with their own families. She had enough for everybody. And even though she was cooking enormous amounts of food, somehow she always managed to be ready.

In contrast, I have struggled. On some days I can barely pick out an outfit and make it out the door on time for work. Still, I am proud to be an accomplished attorney who serves her client well. However, I have found that the value of a well written memo or brilliant brief is underappreciated on Christmas Day.

This conflict between my professional life and my personal responsibilities is at the heart of my current problem.

It is Christmastime and I am woefully unprepared… Christmas has been on the same day for centuries so I should be ready, but I am not. It’s not that I don’t have presents for my loved ones. I have been shopping since October. It’s one of the few things in life that I know that I am really good at. I actually never put that off. I do it all of the time, online, in brick and mortar stores, through catalogues. If it can be bought, I know how to do it. However, preparation isn’t necessarily the same as being ready. I have an enormous pile of unwrapped presents on my living room floor. And, it’s December 23rd and I am working today and tomorrow.

If wrapping presents was all that I had to do though, I’d definitely be ready. However, it’s not. Historically, I have baked holiday cookies. I have done it so many years that I’m kind of known for it. Somehow I started late this year. To date, I’ve only baked two batches. Even though that’s about ten dozen cookies, it’s not enough. There is still more to do. I should be making at least three more batches to have enough for my family and to share. Will Santa get his cookies? Only time will tell.

However, if wrapping and baking were all that I had to do, I’d actually be ready. I could squeeze both in after work and at lunch. However, those aren’t the only things that I have to do. This year, Christmas dinner is supposed to be at my house. (My mother has been gallivanting around Africa and won’t have the time or energy to cook like she normally does.)

Even though I’m a good cook. I’ve never made Christmas dinner. Generally, my meals are “whatever I feel like making”. Christmas dinner has rules. There’s an expected menu. People, non-cookers, have been making requests for things like macaroni and cheese, oyster dressing, sweet potato mousse, greens—I won’t even bore you with the entire list of requests. The pressure is mounting. Even though I have made each of the requested items individually, I have never made them all for one meal for a meal at my home. However, it is my time. The torch has been passed, but I am afraid that I may drop it.

Since I have to do the wrapping, baking AND cooking, I doubt whether I’ll be ready. I haven’t bought one ingredient for this spread that’s supposed to be served in about 48 hours. Also, for at least 16 of the hours I will be at work focusing on my client--advising, counseling, and drafting documents.

What’s a girl to do?! I’m actually not sure yet. However, I know one thing. I cannot be the girl who ruined Christmas.

Okay good bye blog readers. I have to stop writing now. I have promises to keep and wrapping, baking and cooking to do before I sleep… Wish me luck!!!

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